Alain Prost has added his opinion to the continuing debate about how to improve Formula One, saying not only do costs need cutting but so does the amount of technology involved. The four-time world champion, who's team went bankrupt prior to the 2002 season, also believes manufacturers should concentrate solely on engines and leave the development side of the car to the teams.
"Changes are needed quickly, starting with a drop in costs and giving more importance to the driver," Prost told Swiss newspaper Dimanche. He went on to add that manufacturers have such large budgets that smaller teams could not compete and it was difficult to make a return on investments with the costs involved.
"What appears significant to me is that teams like Sauber (or Prost) must survive at all costs to maintain the balance. The manufacturer should remain an engine maker and not be involved at all with development like it is now."
Prost said that ten years ago things were very different but nowerdays the drivers let computers take over: "Today the drivers are monkeys," he remarked. "They don't make adjustments, they give instructions to engineers and, in fact, computers do all the work. For me this is not true competition."
Although Ferrari has taken much of the blame for the decline of public interest in F1, Prost thinks it's just an easy excuse: "Ferrari's domination which is often put forward as a reason for the fall in public interest is only an alibi. Formula One is currently living in a narrow-minded way which doesn't take into account the world economic situation and particularly sponsors."
"What was decided this Autumn to try and bring back excitement to races should be just the beginning," he said of the decisions taken by teams and the FIA such as the new qualifying system. "The problem is with the famous Concorde Agreement, which requires a unanimous approval for major technical changes, and that unanimity is impossible to achieve."
Prost is interested in a return to racing and although he has not yet made any decisions, he is considering his options, possibly in America: "With a budget of 10 million dollars you can form a NASCAR team and have success. It's a formula that could tempt me," he commented.